This homemade calzone recipe is a mixture of sausage, pepperoni and bell peppers, all baked inside pizza dough with plenty of melted cheese. Calzones are the perfect food for a party, they’re hand held, hearty and totally delicious.
Pizza is a commonly served food at gatherings, but I like to surprise my guests by offering calzones instead. You can fill your calzones with so many different toppings, and they’re sure to garner rave reviews.
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Spring is here, and as the weather warms up, I find myself planning for parties! We have a lot of family birthdays during the Spring months, and it’s always nice to get together with friends and loved ones for a celebration. Good food is part of any great gathering, and my current go-to for feeding a crowd are these amazingly delicious calzones. This calzone recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a large group and it’s a nice change from the typical pizza that you find at many events.
What is a calzone?
A calzone is a type of Italian folded pizza that can be stuffed with any number of toppings. Calzones can be picked up and eaten like a sandwich, which makes them a mess-free option for entertaining. You can even set out pieces of pizza dough and toppings and let your guests assemble their own culinary creations.
How do you make calzones?
The first step in this recipe is to roll out your pizza dough. You can use homemade or store bought dough, whichever you prefer. I often use refrigerated pizza dough to save some time. The dough is formed into oval or rectangle shapes and the toppings are loaded on.
I like to fill my calzones with sausage, peppers, pepperoni and lots of cheese. Products in the dairy aisle such as shredded cheese are perfect for my lifestyle because they allow me to focus more on my friends and family, and less on spending hours in the kitchen.
I turn to the freezer and refrigerated dairy aisles when I’m entertaining because there are just so many great options. There are thousands of frozen items that are perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner and entertaining. In addition, I feel good about feeding refrigerated dairy products to friends and family because they are wholesome and high in protein.
Tips for Homemade Calzones
- You can make your calzones as big or as small as you like. I typically make about 3-4 calzones per pound of pizza dough, which makes for a hearty main course. If you’re looking to serve them as an appetizer or snack, you can create 6-8 mini calzones instead.
- I brush the top of my pizza pockets with egg so that they get that beautiful golden-brown sheen.
- You can add other meats or veggies to your calzones, just make sure that they’re cooked first.
- Use a sharp knife to cut a few vents in the top of each pizza pocket so that the steam can escape.
While I typically use the fillings listed in this recipe, I sometimes add other ingredients depending on what I have on hand.
- Meat: Instead of pepperoni, try Canadian bacon, frozen meatballs or chicken along with your sausage.
- Vegetables: Other great vegetable options include mushrooms, artichoke hearts, spinach, olives or onions.
- Cheese: I often make this recipe with Sargento Mozzarella Cheese, but I’ve also used Sargento 4 Cheese Pizzeria, Sargento 6 Cheese Italian and Sargento Mozzarella & Provolone with great results.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STROMBOLI AND CALZONE?
Both a stromboli and a calzone are made with pizza dough folded around meats, cheeses or vegetables, but a stromboli is log shaped and a calzone is often triangle or semicircle shaped.
Looking for more fabulous recipes for entertaining? Be sure to check out the Easy Home Meals website by NFRA for more great recipe ideas.
MORE GREAT ITALIAN FOOD RECIPES
- Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- Pizza Stuffed Shells
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
- Bruschetta Chicken
- Shrimp Alfredo
Calzone Recipe Video
- 1 pound pizza dough homemade or store bought
- 8 ounces Italian sausage casings removed
- 3/4 cup bell peppers cut into thin strips, you can use any color you like
- 1/2 cup pepperoni
- 1 cup pizza sauce divided use
- 8 ounce package Sargento Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Divide the pizza dough into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on the size you want your calzones.
- Roll the dough into 1/4 inch thick ovals or rectangles.
- Place the sausage in a pan and cook according to package directions. Use a spatula to break up the cooked sausage into bite sized pieces.
- Add the bell peppers to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened.
- Spread 2 teaspoons of pizza sauce onto one side of each piece of dough. Top with 1/4 cup cheese.
- Divide the sausage and pepper mixture evenly on top of the sauce. Top with pepperoni and an additional 1/4 cup of cheese.
- Fold the dough over and pinch to seal the edges. Use a sharp knife to cut 2-3 slits into the top of each calzone.
- Brush each calzone with the beaten egg.
- Place the calzones on the sheet pan. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown.
- Top with parsley, then serve immediately with remaining pizza sauce for dipping.
Served this for dinner tonight and it was a hit all around the table! Quite possibly, my family’s new favorite way to enjoy pizza! Delicious!
Just made this calzone and it was a huge success! My husband loves it as well!
Now these look delicious. I think my children would just love one of these calzone for lunch.
Such a simple and easy looking recipe. I think the only thing I’d do differently is saute the bell peppers beforehand to get that sweet caramelized flavor….maybe add in some cooked onions to now that I think about it. Sounds sooo good.
What a great recipe the whole family will enjoy. The kids can help make them too.